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John H.

Hi, I'm a lung cancer survivor of 3A non small cell lung cancer. I was diagnosed in August of 1999. I'm married and have three great children and three wonderful grandchildren.

I found out I had lung cancer after I had pneumonia four times in six months. The doctor had ordered chest X-rays after each time it came back. I never dreamed that it was anything besides some kind of infection. I'm not a perfect patient either. I run my own business and had to pay for my own health insurance. At that time my insurance was more than the mortgage on my house every month.

My primary care said the radiologist saw a shadow on the last X-ray. He suggested strongly that I have a CT scan. I said ok. Then it all becomes a blur. There was the CT it showed a mass. Then an endoscopy where they put a camera and small surgical tools in a tube down your throat into your lungs. The mass they saw an samples of tissue were taken. It was cancer and the outlook was not good maybe a year or two with treatment. More tests than I can remember came after that. All said and done I had six rounds of chemo, 36 radiation treatments and removal of my two lower lobes ( sections) of my right lung.

Since then I've had more doctors appointments, scans, tests, pokes and prodding's than I care to remember but as most cancer survivors will tell you, "Welcome to your new normal life, it will never be the same again."

I am exstatic that I am still here enjoying living and breathing. I wish I never had to deal with this disease. I am so glad to have seen all the milestones in my children's lives that I wouldn't have been able to witness otherwise. I try to volunteer and speak to newly diagnosed people to let them know that you can survive. There are more of us surviving everyday. There is always hope. Tomorrow could be the day that the cure is found. Thank you for reading my story and please donate to fund lung cancer research. It is the least funded of all cancers and yet it claims the most lives every year more than any other cancer.

First published: January 24, 2018

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